NLAW MBT LAW RB-57
Anti-tank man-portable short-range fire-and-forget missile - Sweden
The NLAW (Next generation Light Anti-tank Weapon) also called MBT LAW or RB-57 is a man-portable anti-tank missile weapon system developed and manufactured by the Swedish company SAAB. The development of NLAW started in 1999 and has been in production since 2008. The missile has been optimized from the outset to combat tanks and other armored vehicles. The NLAW has been developed for the British and Swedish need for a weapon that gives individual soldiers the capability to combat a modern tank in all conflict situations and in all environments. The weapon is used by the majority of forces throughout the Swedish and British armies and thereby constitutes an anti-tank complement to the existing light and crew-operated medium-range systems. Since the beginning of the Russia - Ukraine war in February 2022, several European countries have delivered NLAW anti-tank guide missile weapon systems to Ukraine in the framework of military aid. On December 7, 2022, the British Ministry of Defense announced an order of €265 million for the acquisition of Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapon (NLAW) systems that will be assembled in Northern Ireland and delivered to the British Army. In December 2022, Swedish Defense Materiel Administration (FMV) awarded a new order to SAAB for the acquisition of NLAWs (Next Generation Light Anti-Tank Weapons).
No variants at this time
The NLAW is a man-portable fire-and-forget missile system consisting of an anti-tank missile stored in a 115/150mm caliber launcher tube built in composite material. The launcher is fitted with the gunner’s optical sight, a foldaway launch device, handles and firing mechanism, a battery package, carrying straps, and firing support. It is a portable, shoulder-launched system that can be used by a single operator. The launcher doesn't have a trigger, and all the firing operations are controlled via an ergonomic grip mounted to the right side at the front of the launcher tube. The NLAW is a single-use weapon system and can’t be reloaded. The weapon is very light and has a weight of only 11.6 kg). It is easy to use, disposable, and completely maintenance-free.
The NLAW missile has a length of 1.02 m and has a weight of 12.5 kg. It is fitted with an armor-piercing warhead that can destroy heavily protected MBTs in a single shot. The oversize caliber, shaped-charge warhead strikes downward at 90° and is dynamically compensated. It is ignited above the target by the onboard optical and active magnetic sensors. The missile is first launched out of the launcher using a low-powered ignition. After the missile travels several meters into the flight, its main rocket ignites, propelling the missile from there onto the target. Guidance is obtained using a predicted line of sight (PLOS). The effective range of the missile is from 20 to 600 meters or up to 400 meters for moving targets. It has a flight time of fewer than two seconds out to 400 meters and can be launched at 45°, up or down. Allowing the gunner to fire from almost any position – from high up in a building, from behind a tree, or from within a ditch. It can also be fired safely from within enclosed spaces, such as rooms, even with other soldiers present. The maximum firing range is 1,000 m beyond which the missile is designed to auto-destruct. Thanks to its fire-and-forget capability, it is unnecessary for the gunner to consider the range of the target. The operator simply tracks the target for a few seconds before firing and NLAW does the rest. Fire-and-forget is a type of missile guidance that does not require further guidance after the launch such as illumination of the target or wire guidance and can hit its target without the launcher being in the line of sight of the target. According to the manufacturer, the NLAW missile is capable of penetrating over 500 millimeters of armor,
|The NLAW launcher tube is fitted with an optical sight with 2.5 times magnification. For a moving target, the gunner maintains tracking for three seconds, training the missile's guidance electronics to compute the target's angular speed. After launch, the missile flies autonomously to the target making the necessary corrections according to the data acquired by the tracking.|
Close view of NLAW sight and firing grip
|The NLAW is an unjammable and man-portable system and can be deployed in around five seconds by a single soldier day or night. With selectable Overfly Top Attack (OTA) against armored targets and Direct Attack (DA) for non-armored opponents and troops inside buildings, NLAW fires perfectly in confined spaces. NLAW’s OTA function is effective at just 20 m, making it ideal for short-range combat, even where the tank is behind cover. Its armor-piercing warhead can destroy heavily protected MBTs in a single shot. The system is also extremely effective when the operator can only see a tiny portion of the target. The operator can simply aim at the visible part and fire. The missile will travel one meter above the line of sight before it takes the tank out from above. In DA mode, NLAW can be used against soft targets like trucks, buses, cars, and helicopters. When fired directly through a window into a building, fragments will cause significant damage. The ideal mix of PLOS guidance and OTA delivers easy handling, great accuracy, and high kill probability, every time. Thanks to the Predicted Line of Sight (PLOS) guidance system, the gunner activates the system and tracks the target for 2-3 seconds before launch. During this time the missile guidance control system registers the necessary data to calculate the predicted flight path.|
NLAW fires perfectly in confined spaces.
|Anti-tank short-range fire-and-forget missile||HEAT High-Explosive Anti-Tank|
|Finland, Indonesia, Luxembourg, Malaysia, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, United Kingdom||11.6 kg|
|Designer Country||Armor penetration|
|Sweden||400 to 650 mm|
|Optical with 2.5 magnification||20 to 600 m maximum|
|1||Inertial, predicted line of sight|
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